Ron Finley, the ‘Gangster Gardener’ from Los Angeles, caused a worldwide revolution with his TED talk 2013, calling on communities to take control of their surroundings and to make productive use of unloved and unused urban spaces.
Ron visited Love Square, Sheffield, in September 2014, and was so inspired by the plans that he has sent this film to show his great support for the project. Ron says ‘I want to green the whole planet and I see Love Square as starting a new urban green movement’. ‘Love Square is such a perfect name – it’s going to be so sexy!’
Ron was in Sheffield as the international star speaker in the University of Sheffield’s Festival of the Mind in September, which brings ideas, discussion and action to the streets of Sheffield. He gave a packed-out public talk in Sheffield Cathedral to people who travelled from all over the country to see him, and visited inspirational community gardens and urban greening projects in the city.
Ron says: ‘we want people to stop, to enjoy, to experience nature in Love Square. They might come for their lunch and then they might not want to go back to work after! People need to experience nature. People need to know that ‘we are nature’. We need to be the stewards – we need to be the maintenance crew for nature’.
Professor Nigel Dunnett, of the Department of Landscape, University of Sheffield, who is leading the Love Square project, and who invited Ron to Sheffield said ‘ Ron’s visit to Sheffield was so inspirational to so many people. We were all infected by his enthusiasm for Love Square and his recognition that we are attempting to do something very special with this transformational project.’
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Here is Ron Finley’s famous TED talk: